Q. I am a bit confused on John 10:8-10. Does the verse refer to prophets like Elisha, Moses, John the baptist etc? Who were the thieves and robbers who came before Jesus?
A. There were false messiahs who came before Jesus. They preached lies, trying to lead people astray and rob them of eternal life. There have also been many more since. In John 10:10 He said the thief comes only to kill and destroy, but He came so we might have life and have it abundantly.
Teachings based on earning eternal life through good works, or that we don’t have to be born again to be saved are two examples of false teaching that can kill and destroy us. In John 3:3 He said we do have to be born again to see the kingdom of God, and in John 6:28-29 He said the work God requires of us is that we believe in the one He sent.